Wildfire Workshop on tap for Thetis Island residents

Thanks to a $500 prize from the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Contest, the Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Workshop on Saturday for residents.

"As a member of the Cowichan

Valley communities, Thetis Island is not very often in the news," said fire chief Jeannine Caldbeck. "This national recognition is certainly a good news story for our small community."

Some of the funds will also be used to purchase sprinkler protection units for Forbes Hall Community Centre in case of wildfire.

"We are an ‘interface’ community, with little water resources, no mutual aid from other Cowichan Valley fire departments, and rely upon fire prevention education and early access to 911 if fire threatens," explained Caldbeck.

The workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Forbes Hall Community Centre and will include presentations "Our workshop will be held on May 2, from 10:30 until noon and will include presentations from the Thetis Island Vol. Fire Dept., the Emergency Social Services, the Local Emergency Response Neighbourhood Captains, a Ministry of Forests -Cobble Hill Fire Base Officer, and the Amateur Radio Club of Thetis Island.

"All of these organizations would be involved during a wildfire incident on Thetis Island," said Caldbeck. "We were excited to be included in the 20 prizes awarded nationally to groups registering their proposals with the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day."

Sponsoring the May 2 Preparedness Day nationally are The Co-operators, the Institute for Catstrophic Loss Reduction, and the National Fire Protection Association. They are committed to raising wildfire awareness, promoting collaboration, and bringing neighbours together to work

on projects that can help protect homes, neighbourhoods and entire communities from future wildfire risk.

Cowichan event celebrating International Day of the Midwife

Once a year thousands of people gather in groups big and small to celebrate and advocate for maternal and newborn health on International Day of the Midwife.

This year the Cowichan Midwifery Group and the Cowichan Green Community will celebrate this special day with a walk and family picnic on May 2 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This year’s International Day of the Midwife event will feature a stroller/bike parade followed by a family picnic with kids’ games, potluck picnic, and cake at Centennial Park.

It will celebrate all the families and midwives of the Cowichan Valley as well as marking the global call to invest in midwives and improve maternal health.

"The theme of this year’s international event is ‘Midwives: for a better tomorrow,’ said local midwife Julia Cianci. "This idea of access to care really speaks to us. Even at home on Vancouver Island many rural women have to drive for hours and leave home and family just to access a safe place to give birth. In the global south many women don’t have access to a care provider at all. This event is to promote access to health care here and around the world."

Participants should meet at the Matraea Centre courtyard (170 Craig St.) with their strollers, bikes, signs, decorations or costumes in support of women’s health at 10 a.m. Everyone will then head to Centennial Park in a "gentle group walk" where there will be treats and games. A raffle for an organic body pillow and fun door prizes will add to the event.

"We will have face painting, sack races, and other fun kids’ games," said Cianci, "as well as some celebration cake. Bring your little ones and friends for a lovely morning in the park."

Compiled by Andrea Rondeau, Citizen